Delay has put us in a quandary, say farmers

As in the case of farmers in Kuditini, farmers in Veni Veerapur and Janekunte in Bellary taluk are also facing an unsavoury situation. They are neither given compensation nor are they allowed to dispose off their land. For, their land spanning about 2,800 acres has already been notified by the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) for acquisition on behalf of the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC), a Central undertaking, fo0r setting up a five million tonnes capacity steel plant. The KIADB has been delaying the process of acquisition citing the interim stay order granted by the Circuit Bench of the Karnataka High Court on a batch of writ petitions filed by a group of farmers, whose lands, measuring about 300 acres, form part of the notified 2,800 acres, opposing the acquisition.

“The stay granted relates only to petitioners’ land of 300 acres and does not apply to a major chunk of the land held by others. Therefore, the KIADB should start the process of acquisition and arrange to pay compensation, for which the NMDC has already deposited Rs. 145 crore,” N. Pratap Reddy, said on behalf of land-losers.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, Mr. Reddy said that the establishment of a steel plant would pave way for economic activity, which had come to a standstill following the ban on mining. “Being a Central undertaking, NMDC will follow all the norms, including providing employment to one member of each land-losing family and payment of compensation as per the new Land Acquisition Bill being tabled in the ensuing Parliament session, among others,” he said. “Either the KIADB should immediately start the process of acquisition or return the land already notified, so that we can dispose off our land,” Mr. Reddy said. Later, a delegation of land-losers met the Deputy Commissioner and requested him to intervene and instruct the KIADB to start the process of land acquisition and pay the compensation, at the earliest.

  • About 2,800 acres earmarked for NMDC steel plant

  • Circuit Bench stay order being cited as bottleneck